Response to Premier Bush

Letter to the Editor

Premier McKeeva Bush took to the airwaves on Tuesday night to defend the agreement between Dart, the National Roads Authority and Government. 

Mr. Bush, in his usual way, tried to divert attention to me, the messenger, rather than explain why he and his UDP cohorts negotiated such a bad deal for Cayman by giving away so much and getting so little in return. 

Fellow Caymanians, pay close attention and take careful note of the fact that during his entire address he could not quote a single clause to refute what I said or to support his statement that the agreement is a good deal for Cayman.  

I have one simple question for you Mr. Bush; did you read the agreement? If you did, you certainly do not appear to understand it. 

Mr. Bush speaks to the fact that the agreement is subject to an independent review, which is detailed in sections 127 to 131; three full pages, most of the conditions and terms of the review favour Dart.  

The review period is defined under the definition section of the agreement to be ‘The period commencing on the date of this agreement and terminating at 5pm on 16 March, 2012’. 

Today is 12 July; four months overdue. Mr. Bush where is the review? Certainly PriceWaterhouse Coopers is being paid to do this review, why are they allowed to take seven months to do a report that was agreed would take three months? 

Mr. Mark, the CEO of Dart, said in his Dinner Conversation published on 3 July in the Journal that the review was completed and I know from personal experience that these conversations are taped weeks before they are published. You have had the review for weeks. So, Mr. Bush, why can Mr. Mark have the review but it can’t be published? What does it say that is so bad? 

Your statement indicates that your excellent, competent, informed and skilled negotiating team has managed to add some more benefits to the agreement for Cayman, namely a new Sunrise school, during or after the review was completed, Wow. Couple that with Mr. Mark’s declaration that Dart is unhappy with the review, could this possible be a re-balancing act so the review can be adjusted before it is released? 

The agreement provides for the this agreement, not an amended version, to be reviewed and if not favourable to Cayman to be terminated and Dart be refunded the $5 million and expenses to date. 

Mr. Bush, good Governance Lesson 101; review the agreement before you sign it. Don’t sign a standalone agreement and then review while the agreement is being implemented. Bad, bad, bad governance and huge financial exposure for Government. 

Yes Mr. Bush, on page 2 the agreement clearly states it is a standalone agreement; certainly Mr. Bush your read that far. 

Mr. Bush your claim that this agreement was necessary to restore the Courtyard Marriott room stock is unfounded. I am aware of at least two Caymanian groups that were actively trying to buy this property when you, through this agreement, allowed Dart to snatch it from their grasp.  

I wonder, as I am sure most Caymanians do, what happened to the derelict building law and the $25,000 per day fine. Why has it not been enforced and what was the reason and purpose of the law in the first place. 

Mr. Bush your claim that I was irresponsible by leaking the details of certain parts of the agreement out of context is unfounded; that credit belongs to Mr. Mark the CEO of Dart and the Journal. They let your proverbial cat out of the bag, not me. Mr. Mark, in his dinner conversation, stated and I quote, “The initial version of that review by PriceWaterhouse Coopers has now been completed;” very instructive and informative words. 

However, you are right about my political agenda and I would add my responsibility, duty and job as a duly elected representative of the people to expose such wrong doing as this secret agreement. And now that I have the whole agreement watch this space much more to come. Caymanians will be mad, fed up and upset when they discover how bad this agreement, of which your and your Government is so proud, really is. 

Mr. Bush, really, please, you must read the agreement on the hotel tax. Most of Cayman has by now and they all know there is no restriction on how often Dart can apply this rebate to a hotel. They can get this benefit 30 years from now for 10 years on any hotel that is developed, acquired, redeveloped, renovated or refurbished by Dart or its affiliate. 

Mr. Bush it is really time to stop blaming me for your failures to turn the economy around and create jobs. I have one vote in the Legislative Assembly you have nine. You have all the power in Cabinet I have none. Fact is, you have not done so in 38 months while spending almost $1.5 billion and are not likely to do so in eight months. 

Mr. Bush game over; NO BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012-13 SAYS IT ALL. 



Ezzard Miller